Gain More Confidence By Doing This More Often
You’re here because you want to be more confident, right?
Well, let me tell you the story of how I discovered the key to confidence.
It all started when I interviewed for a summer internship at a posh advertising firm during my third year of university. I had just finished the year-end exams for my third year at university and was looking for a job related to my field of studies—human resources management.
Although it was unpaid, this internship promised a stellar experience. It was an exciting opportunity.
From the moment I walked into the building, I was starstruck by the glamour of this advertising firm.
Do I have what it takes? I thought to myself as I paced in the bathroom right before the interview started.
Can I really do this?
Am I good enough?
20 minutes later, the interview was nearing its end.
I asked one final question to the interviewer: “Can you describe the ideal candidate for the role?”
“We’re looking for someone incredibly resourceful and thick-skinned,” she replied, “someone who can survive in a dynamic and ambiguous environment. They can figure out on their own who to connect with, what information to get, and how to get things done.”
I sat a little lower in my seat. Gee, is that really me? I wondered.
“You’re working with a lot of creative personalities here,” she continued, “we need a person who knows how to navigate the different personalities and create influence by using persuasion.”
I don’t remember my exact response, but my body language must have said it all. Needless to say, I didn’t get the job.
I was disappointed of course, but a bigger part of me was relieved. Deep down, I wasn’t confident I could do this job. I didn’t believe I could be that incredibly-resourceful-and-persuasive-influencer who had the skin, the composure, and the prowess to get the job done.
But I was wrong. Just a few weeks after this interview, I got a job offer for a paid summer position at a company that never had a human resources department EVER in their decades of existence.
The job description for the role was almost an exact replica of the internship position at the advertising firm—it too required someone thick-skinned, resourceful, and had the ability to create influence without having any real authority. Thankfully this time, the interviewer liked me enough to give me a shot, and I accepted it even though I had knots in my stomach from just thinking about the complexity of the role.
And guess what? Over the course of the next four months, I became the kind of person the interviewer at that advertising firm described. I learned I had the potential to be everything she was looking for, but I just didn’t have the confidence to believe it at the time.
The biggest takeaway from that job experience was the growth in my confidence. I emerged from that summer job more confident than ever before. And I couldn’t have done it without doing one thing—moving my butt out of my comfort zone.
Why Moving Out of Our Comfort Zone is the Key to Confidence
Confidence comes from being able to tackle fresh problems and overcome new obstacles in our lives.
If we expose ourselves to new challenges that we can overcome and learn from, we give ourselves the opportunity to succeed at things we’ve never done before. And that in turn, helps us be more confident.
But the problem is, new challenges don’t come up often, if at all, inside our comfort zone.
The world within our comfort zone is well…comfortable. Everything feels familiar and safe, like an old blanket that we snuggled with as a child.
Living within our comfort zone is the easy default option, the state that we settle into over time. And if we try to leave, there’s a voice in our head that screams “danger! Get away from there!” So we retreat as if we’re dodging the incoming waves on a beach.
But the catch is, the more we stay within our comfort zone, the more we think that’s all there is. We end up believing what we do currently is all we’re capable of.
We become oblivious to our potential.
Had I not jumped into a role that made every inch of me quake with fear, I never would have found out just how resourceful and persuasive I can be. And once I made these new discoveries about myself, my confidence soared.
I had discovered that the key to confidence—we must force ourselves out of our comfort zone.
How to Move Out of Your Comfort Zone
The instinct to leave our comfort zone is within all of us.
Just think when we were infants, had we not left the comfort of our cribs or the safety of an adult’s embrace, how would we ever have learned to crawl, walk, or climb? We learned these and other important lessons of development by constantly testing the boundaries of our comfort zone.
So why do we hesitate to leave its walls now that we’re all grown up?
We could be bound by any one of these 5 roadblocks that prevent us from leaving our comfort zone, or we simply fell into a comfortable spot and stayed there. And as time passed it became harder and harder for us to leave. If you’ve ever binge-watched Netflix on a Sunday, you’ll get what I mean.
So the trick is to make moving out of our comfort zone into a habit.
We need to consciously push ourselves out of our comfort zone on a regular basis so we can keep testing the boundaries of our capabilities and expand our horizons. And the more confident we get from moving outside of our comfort zone, the easier it will become. Confidence leads to more confidence!
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can learn the key to confidence by moving out of your comfort zone:
- Evaluate what’s going on in your life. If everything feels familiar and certain to you, you’re within your comfort zone and not being challenged enough.
- Say “yes” to something that scares you (but not actually dangerous).
- Reflect on the experience. Did you learn anything new about yourself that you didn’t know before? Have you learned something new? Did you overcome a challenge in the process and how do you feel about that?
- Repeat step 1 to 3 on a regular basis.
And you don’t have to make a BIG move out of your comfort zone like taking on a new and challenging job every time. If you stay consistent, small steps can make a huge difference over time.
How I’m Pushing Myself Out of My Comfort Zone Today
I recently made a massive move out of comfort zone by saying “yes” to something that scared the living daylights out of me—I launched my own blog and started engaging on social media.
The introvert in me shuddered at the thought of putting my thoughts out there and having people “judge” on what I write. Before I launched my blog I felt as if I was back in that stark-white interview room at the advertising firm again.
Could I really do this? Do I really have what it takes? The same thoughts crept back into my mind. But unlike the last time, I know that confidence, and other great things, are waiting for me on the other side of my comfort zone.
I know I will grow to be more confident in my blogging as time goes on, and I’m already feeling the change in myself in the past few months.
What I hope you’ll take away from my journey is that any one of us can be more confident in ourselves. All we have to do is move out of our comfort zone, and do it often.
Let’s be more confident together.